I have the very sad duty to inform you of the death of our esteemed colleague and friend, Dr Kester Brown AM. Kester passed away last night at at the Kew family house in Melbourne, surrounded by his loved ones, from complications of his Parkinson’s Disease.
Kester was a colossus of not just Australian, but World Anaesthesia, and Paediatric Anaesthesia in particular. He was a Life Member of the ASA, and also was awarded the Gilbert Brown Award and Gilbert Troup Medal. From Anaesthesia and Intensive Care he was bestowed the Ben Barry Medal, while from ANZCA he received the Orton Medal and the Gilbert Brown Medal.
In addition, Kester enjoyed a long involvement with the WFSA, including being WFSA President from 2000 to 2004. He was Chair of the World Congress of Anaesthesiology Scientific Program Committee of Sydney in 1996. This WCA was a huge success. He was a champion for ODEC and for the training and education of anaesthesiologists in developing nations.
Born, raised and schooled in Kenya, Kester graduated in Medicine at St Andrew’s University, Scotland in 1960. He spent his early medical career in Canada, before he followed Janet, a nurse who became the great love of his life, to Melbourne, from which she came. They are the parents of 5 children.
Kester probably is best remembered for his time at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where he was the Director of Anaesthesia from 1974 to 2000. He was an enormous presence there as a clinician, researcher, publisher, teacher, mentor, and leader.
Away from the sphere of Anaesthesia, Kester very much was a citizen of the world. He was passionate about a whole host of issues and entities, including his family, photography, painting, writing, gardening, sport and travel.
Many of us have benefited directly and indirectly from Kester’s kindness, and gentle but firm instruction. His other achievements are legion, and too many to list here.
Kester will be missed very much, and never forgotten.
Dr Peter Seal